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News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. Investigative journalism. (HD) (CC) (Stereo)

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Booker 12, Yvette 10, Kasich 9, Booker Wright 8, Washington 8, Obama 6, Us 5, Paul Ryan 5, Colorado 5, Wisconsin 5, Michigan 4, Mississippi 4, Ray De Felitta 3, Ohio 3, Richard Mourdock 3, Walker 3, Sandy 3, Yvette Johnson 3, Mitch Daniels 2, Nbc 2,
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  NBC    Dateline NBC    News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz,  
   Hoda Kotb. Investigative journalism. (HD) (CC) (Stereo)  

    October 29, 2012
    3:05 - 4:00am EDT  

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there's an organized progressive and centrist movement in ohio because of the kind of governance that kasich was bragging about there. there's another side that i think is going to affect organize's organizing capacity. that's why i think ohio is leaning more blue than it otherwise might be. >> ohio is prospering in part because of what kasich did. it seems that obama has a leg up in part because of fracking. if some of the environmental groups had been able to shut down cracking, ohio, boem could win because of fracking and all the jobs that's creating. second thing, the core issue of this campaign, we've got a need for tremendous government reform. we've got governments that are helping create a sclerotic economy, and what kasich has done, what mitch daniels has done, indian some of those reform governors have done the sort of reforms that strip away the sclerosis. and i'm surprised that mitt romney isn't running on that sort of broad -- i'm not radical. look at what mitch daniels has
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done, i want to do it for the federal government. >> it's amazing he's not running on a change washington. he's winning the question, but not by a lot and it's always amayed me. the country is not happy with washington. i want to go back to the demographic yes. what makes ohio different from all the other battleground states and all of the other mathematics from obama campaign. it's the state that demograph demographically don't fit what they're trying to do everything that they're trying to do in every other swing state is about hispanics and gender. not ohio. the demographic group that mitt romney performs best with is white men. the demographic group he's performing poorly in ohio is white men. auto workers in toledo, akron, northwest part of the state. >> i think the reason for that is a, what rachel mentioned, the fight over union rights. a lot of counties that voted for kasich in the election swung overwhelmingly in favor of the unions in the referendum. secondly again the auto rescue.
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which makes a big difference in that quadrant you talked about. which is whi working-class voters. and governor kasich dissed michigan, which i suppose is what you do when you're governor of ohio. michigan has had one of the biggest drops in unemployment. when obama took office, michigan was a messecause of the auto industry. they've had a huge drop of unemployment. even though they a little bit higher now than michigan. and i was struck that governor kasich suggested that everybody was for the auto rescue. no, they weren't. most republicans, with the exception by the way of president george w. bush who let it happen with actions he took, were against the auto rescue. so i don't understand, well i do understand, but people just don't want to take responsibility for where they stood on that issue. >> this was a question, carly about the auto bailout b. what role government direct government money would play in restructuring these companies. >> that's right. and who stands first in line to be repaid?
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is it the unions? or is it debtors and creditors? that was the fundamental question. and the truth is, it is disingenuous and factually inaccurate to say that republicans weren't for the rescue of the auto industry. the question was how. and what. and who would be repaid. but let me go back to your original question. of course it's about the economy. and in ohio, both governor kasich and mitt romney are right. governor kasich is right that his policies fundamentally different than obama's, lower taxes, close the budget deficit. make, create a regulatory environment that encourages investment and certainty. that those are improving the situation. governor romney is also, however, correct that there's a long way to go. and that there are lots of people in ohio and elsewhere around this country who are unemployed or underemployed and we have huge progress. and 2% gdp growth is nothing to crow about. in fact it's less growth than in 2011 and less than 2010. >> all the economic news is
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about republican policies and all the bad economic news is because of democratic policies? it's funny, it's just disingenuous. >> how much of this is a problem in terms of how people feel, rachel. we see more economic optimism in the country and yet people are still feeling like the obama record is lackluster and you look at the recovery still not feeling like it's robust enough. >> and you see it just in the raw consumer confidence numbers. you see consumer confidence trending up and the unemployment rate trending down and you see the deficit dropping year to year. you see things going in the right direction. people have to decide if they want to switch horses and go with a guy who is promising a fundamentally different way to go. if he's sort of an economic austerity, more european style of going or whether you think president obama is turning this thing around. that's the fundamental decision people have to make. >> the weird thing about this election is the country thinks we're the wrong election, and i think the most likely outcome is they re-elect everybody. we get the same government we've had the last four years. and so to me the case that has
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to be made is we have had a rotten tax code, a dysfunctional politics, how are you going to change that? i haven't seen obama do the sort of big change agenda he did four years ago. i've seen romney make gestures at it, but not lay it out in a way that's forceful. that i think would make a change, want to do actual change. >> let me continue that theme. i want to pick up there as we turn to the democratic governor of battleground, colorado, john hickenlooper and the republican governor, paul ryan's home state of wisconsin, scott walker. governors, welcome back to "meet the press," both of you. >> glad to be back. >> both states are pretty tight here, pretty remarkable is tight as well, good news for romney. a rrn hasn't won your state since 1984. and in colorado, governor hickenlooper, look at our latest polling from nbc news and marist. 48-48. i know talking to the obama campaign. i know they think it's not that close, but they know it's tight. governor hickenlooper, you start, what's decisive? what tips the scales in your
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state and in this election? >> well i think if you look at the mess that president obama inherited and i mean losing 800,000 jobs a month, month after month, the first few months of his presidency. he's turned it around, got 32 months of job creation, 5.2 million jobs. the national export initiative, exports were up 38%. i think people are going to hear that and i think they're going to recognize that governor romney's plan of adding $2 trillion to military spending and at the same time promising $5 trillion of tax cuts to largely skewed to the wealthier parts of the population, without any specifics, right? i mean it's like trying to sell a pig in a poke. what are those deductions and tax credits he's going to get rid of? are we going to lose the home mortgage deduction? the deduction for giving for philanthropic organizations? like churches that are in many cases for local government are best partners at fighting
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important poverty, that kind of stuff. >> governor walker, for you as well, the defining issue that determines the outcome in your state? >> well it's certainly about jobs. in our case it's elections are fundamentally about the future and not about the past. so i think people on the few weeks back on that night in denver and john's state outside of his hometown there when voters got to see that mitt romney had a plan and the president didn't. and now in the last few days, he's trying to gloss that over with a 20-page glossy document. he doesn't have a plan, mitt romney does. in fact just yesterday as i was traveling the state, there were literally farmers out in fields that had almost like a burma shave commercial. they had one sign after another after another that listed out the five points of his plan. people want to know how they're going to get working in janesville or green bay or wausau or milwaukee or superior. they want to know how we're going to get working again. i think it was clear after the debate. they saw record numbers of volunteers coming into the campaign offices. more importantly, we saw the biggest jump in the polls in wisconsin after people saw the
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difference in that first debate. >> i want to ask you both about the experiences you've had in your states, dealing with the other side, the party on the other side, and how you think that may be instructive to, to washington in a new congress, in a new administration, whether it's republican or democrat. governor walker, let me start with you, when it comes to balancing the budget. is it really acceptable for governor romney to go to washington, if it comes to that and say, well through tax reform, i'm going balance the budget? or through tax cuts we're going to grow our way into this? is that an appropriately balanced approach to solving this problem? >> well i think more than anything, what people want is action, they want results, they look at the -- i think about my wife, tonette and i looking at our two kids, one a freshman in college and the other a senior in high school. we worry that tremendously four years from now, they won't have an opportunity when they get out of college, to have a job. we worry tremendously years after that if our kids get married and have kids of their own, our grandkids won't be able
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to inherit the kind of america we had because of the massive debt. >> i'm asking how you get to results. >> we want results. >> i'm asking you how you get there. you have a candidate who has rejected a 10-1 spending cut to tax to revenue increasing formula. does that jibe with you as you have to navigate some tough circumstances in your own state? is that a way to run washington? >> sure. in wisconsin's case, like kasich and others did around the country. we lowered the overall property taxes, the overall burden went down and revenues went up. why? because we promoted more growth. we went from a few years ago, having 9.2% unemployment. down to 7.3% today. we went if losing hundreds of thousands of jobs to gaining jobs. why? because you've got to have a pro growth agenda. when you do, that will help washington grow in the right direction. it puts more people to work and when more people are working, it balances the economy as well. >> let me ask a question to governor hickenlooper on the democratic side. do you think the democrats are in effect playing by old rules, too protective of entitlements,
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not serious enough about looking at serious reform that could also have a bigger impact on how to deal with the debt? you've got to look at it you've got to have both, right? in colorado certainly we have worked very lard unlike the president, when i got elected in 2010, republicans sat down, we worked together. you know we did our budget last year, in a divided general assembly, we passed it with 86 out of 100 votes. you've got to have, it's great to continue trying to get rid of red tape and lower taxes wherever possible. but you also got to have some revenue sources, too. if we're going to deal with the fiscal cliff, right in the lame duck session, which i think is a huge challenge. we've got to get everybody working together. you look at some of the people that really do understand job creation and how businesses grow. warren buffett, who supported president obama, he's looking at this cliff issue as really one of the key issues. people do want certainty. but that's the biggest uncertainty of them all is can
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republicans and democrats work together and get a resolution here. >> let me ask you both, it's striking to me -- >> just on that one point. >> go ahead, governor. >> i would say on that point briefly. remember both of us are governors here. mitt romney is a governor in state where 85% of the legislature was democrat-controlled. yet he balanced the budget, did it without raising taxes in a way that helped create more jobs. per your point, he's proven he can do it in a state like massachusetts. i think he can do it in america america. >> it struck me there's not a more robust debate in this campaign about gun violence in americand what to do about it. is that the state governments should just sort of keep their hands off it and not let it happen. but sort of -- sort of abdicate this idea that there's not much in terms of regulation that can you do to accomplish this. both states that you represent have had shooting rampages. governor hickenlooper have you been dispointed that there's not a more robust debate about this?
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>> i think if you look at some of the weapons that people are using in these, these senseless attacks, i mean 12-gauge shotguns, there's 120 million out there. i do worry that some of the cuts that governor romney is proposing are going to cut funding in all manner of levels for mental health. i mean that's one of the big issues. we've got some crazy folks out there that are just completely delusional. we've got to be able to identify that sooner and get them into treatment. get them off the street before they do some sort of insane act. >> governor walker, who you do you respond to that? why not more of a debate about this? it's been virtually absent. >> and in our case in the recent tragedy we had in wisconsin, we need greater focus, something that republicans and democrats can agree on, a greater focus on tightening up domestic violence laws, that's where the biggest problem was in the recent tragedy in the state of wisconsin. we didn't do enough in this state apparently at the local level to adequately enforce those laws, we didn't do enough to stand up for domestic violence victims at our state
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and local level and i think that's something that is not a partisan level. and something at the federal, state and local level needs to be highlighted. >> we'll be watching both your states very closely in the days leading up to election day. thank you. more with the roundtable coming back, including the demographic issue. the fight for women voters, the fight for latino voters, how much that's going to impact. plus, what are we going to see from either a romney administration or an obama i don't spend money
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about rape once again, that it could be god's will and that a pregnancy because of rape should be taken to term. this ironically and the timing was bad for mitt romney, wassed only senate campaign that romney had actually weighed in on with an endorsement. and so the democratic national committee aired this ad to get into this debate. >> this fall, i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. >> even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> this is man who i want to see in washington, to make sure that we cannot just talk about changing things, but actually have the votes to get things changed. >> this follows of course the todd akin, the candidate in missouri, talking about legitimate rape. carly fiorina, this seems to be a cultural problem within the republican party. you can't lay this at the feet of mitt romney to be sure. there are a lot of women who are seeing this as fundamental
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disrespect for women, that is part of the republican party. how do you see it? >> first of all, talk about bad timing for mitt romney's endorsement. mourdock said a really bad thing and he apologized. and in other words, in that state there are two pro life candidates running, richard mourdock is clearly more extreme. and i agree, i think most people disagree with him. here's the reason why governor romney is gaining among women right now. he is gaining among women. and that's because women care about the economy. women care about the role of government. women care about their children's education. women care about their health care. and more women are living in poverty under this president than any other time in decades. that's why governor romney is winning with women. >> fair point. rachel, one of the things you're seeing, it was tina fey speaking in new york, seem to strike the chord about going beyond abortion, about do you trust
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women enough to let them make decisions about their own lives. this is how she talked about it. >> if i have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, i'm going to lose my mind. >> frankly, to be fair, the romney campaign is probably thinking the same thing -- i'm going to lose my mind if we have to keep talking about rape in this election. its association with the republican party that he does not want to be associated with. right, but then he picked paul ryan. they have the fight over forced ultrasounds, the government telling you you need to have a medically unnecessary procedure at the order of the state, regardless of what you want or what your doctor says and he picked a guy who picked a forced ultrasound bill for the country, paul ryan was on board with that. paul ryan was a co-sponsor of a bill with todd akin it redefine rape. paul ryan was a co-sponsor of a bill for personhood. would ban all abortion, it would also ban intreat roh fertilization and most forms of
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birth control. if you want to avoid the fight, don't put paul ryan on the platform. >> and on the platform, talked about you shouldn't be able 20 do invitro fertilization, something that a lot of republican women have a problem with. it's on the republican platform. >> virginia and colorado, both of those states, michael bennett is the united states senate in colorado, he survived because of the abortion issue, because of the gender gap. he created one of the widest gender gaps in any senate race in the country in 2010. i want to get to a larger point, the issue, the irony to akin and mourdock. and hearing somebody with the nrsc. that isn't who the nrsc wanted, they wanted more moderate republicans, more establishment republicans, but they've not been able to police their own party, he can't. because the base of the party will lash out at them this is an anchor around mitt romney. one of the things our polling has shown is that mitt romney has better favorable ratings
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than the republican party overall. the democratic party has better favorable ratings than the republican party overall. i think there's a case to be made, if mitt romney does not win this election, there will be people pointing fingers at him. i think the fault lies with the republican party, took its image took a turn to the right as far as some voters are concerned in the middle. that romney himself should be able to win. >> can i -- voters vote for people, not parties. so romney, romney's on the ticket, not the republican party. >> i don't know. >> i want to defend gray-faced guys with $2 haircuts. >> where do you get a $2 haircut? >> the crucial gap is a marriage gap. republicans and mitt romney are doing better by almost 20 points among married people, including married women. democrats and barack obama are doing better than 20 points among single women. so that's the crucial gap here. and so that is a question of, that's how you tailor who you're trying to get. and the republicans are doing extremely well among people who want bipartisanship.
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among people who want some stability. they're doing well among that group. but the where republicans are falling short is among the single group where obama is doing well, remember the ad where he said government is going to help you here, help you here, republicans have not offered a counter help you. >> i want to go to chuck's point about the republican right. one thing we've seen in this election. the right wing lost this election. mitt romney signaled that in the first debate where he said you know all this tea party stuff we've been running on for two years, i know i can't win the election on that, i'm going somewhere else. the second point is you saw something interesting in that mourdock example, in terms of how mitt romney responds to the pressures in his own party. he could have pulled down the ad that he made for richard mourdock. and he refused to pull that ad down. in the third thing is the whole discussion of i will be bipartisan. i can't help but want to point out that the republicans for the entirety of obama's term have
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said no, n good morning. this is live hurricane sandy update. sandy is a huge hurricane taking a turn to the north and bringing in heavy rain on the eastern shore. southeastern virginia from the carolinas all the way to new jersey. it's going to continue to track off to the north for another few hour and then turn northwest later today. 8 p.m. monday it will be off the atlantic seaboard. brings it ashore midnight tonight. eastern shore is pounded with wind and rain. peak winds 45 miles an hour along the coast. this heavier rain is just about to cross the bay coming toward the metro area later this morning. right now we are getting some steady light to moderate rain in the metro area. we a flood watch in effect five to even the inches of rain
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through the counties in green, already flood warning for frederick county. we are back with news 4 today starting at 4 a. it's the reason why you don't hear the larger message, because he can't do it. >> david, i disagree with your premise, i think yes, there are have been changes in position and i would argue there have been more changes in obama's positions frankly. think there's a very clear choice here. an extremely clear choice between a man who is saying i am going to run and govern with pro growth policies. i am going to govern through bipartisan coalitions and a man who has manifestly not governed with pro growth policies. >> it's amazing to me that we're still saying that president obama was such a weak president. he was unable to work his will
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in washington. >> thank goodness we have nine more days. because we need nine more days to continue this debate. great conversation this morning. thank you all very much. a reminder, stay with nbc news all week for a special coverage of hurricane sandy and of course the election. that's all for today, we'll be back next week for our special election-week broadcast live from nbc's it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something. make it matter. ♪ atmix of energies.ve the world needs a broader that's why we're supplying natural gas to
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maybe a little outdated, backwards. >> tell me about this house. >> for ray de felitta, this was his first trip to mississippi. and like yvette, it was the unfinished story of booker wright that lured him here. following in his father's footsteps. >> ray, what was it like for you to suddenly find yourself in these same towns, in the same streets. >> it was great to actually envision my dad in 1965 there and i'm actually sitting in the same restaurant, i'm wandering with a film crew in the same town. >> before long, ray and his crew were bumping into people who'd actually appeared in his father's film. people like iola mccoy whom he
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met while she was serving the crew lunch one day. >> that's part of the magic of film making. amazing things happen that you never foresaw. >> iola was a young mother living on a plantation in 1965 when the manager abruptly led frank de felitta's crew into her mother's house. >> come on out here. >> the manager wanted to show frank how well his black tenant farmers lived and how he treated them. he said he took care of these tenants like this one who was going to get indoor plumbing. >> going to put a bathroom in here. going to put them in all the houses that are like this. >> but tenants who the manager decided didn't work hard enough or take care of their cabins received only scorn. iola's father was one of those. >> i want to show you the contrast between good tenants
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and one that doesn't take care of his family. you see he didn't even put a nail in that. >> when the manager traipsed into her mother's cabin with a film crew, iola sat stonily ahead while her daughter slept. >> he walked on in. i guess my mother knew she was coming. i knew i didn't. >> that cabin still stands. and though iola mccoy told us she doesn't remember much about that day, she definitely remembers the plantation manager. >> i just remember he was a scruffy man. he, you know, bossy. >> and we never did get the indoor toilet. >> vera was just a baby then. >> to see me being calm like i was well taken care of and i just thought i was the most adorable thing. >> vera says that those she grew up poor, she never felt
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deprived. so it angers her to see the way the plantation manager talked about her grandfather. >> he was using your grand dad as a bad example. >> yes. and he was a good man. he took care of us. we never went hungry. we always had clothing, shelter. everybody don't progress at the same rate as others. it just took us a little longer to get where we needed to get to. >> yvette's journey involved talking to anybody who could take her to the story of her grandfather. she talked to anybody from his restaurant. iola was one of those. >> he was a good, fun guy. i enjoyed him. he was a businessman though. if you weren't buying, you got to leave. you couldn't sit at his table. >> 98% of the people you speak to about him will talk about his joy. that he was just bigger than
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life. he was fun to be around. >> did they see him -- was he the activist type or was this out of character? >> no. he had found a balance between being successful as a waiter in the white community, but he also was very well respected in the black community because he had his own restaurant. >> but all of their research failed to solve the biggest mystery of all. yvette and ray wondered why someone like booker wright, a father and a smart businessman, would risk everything by bearing his soul to a stranger with a camera. >> i didn't get the impression from anyone that they saw it coming. >> he wasn't an agitator. >> no. but given where he lived in the time he lived it was sort of like a -- it was a powder keg. it was going to explode. >> i have a feeling that he spotted me. he saw what i was doing, and he arranged to become a part of it. >> you were the vehicle on something that he really wanted to get out. >> exactly. i had that feeling.
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>> ray and yvette both hoped they would find a clue to booker's motivation. and perhaps they thought they would find it here in the ruin that once was booker's place. the place where it all began. coming up -- >> i always feel emotional here. >> uncovering the rest of booker's story. a dramatic chapter still to come. >> do you think that booker was killed as a result of what he said? when "dateline" continues. we're testing new degree, the only antiperspirant activated directly by movement.
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the words were heart felt and laced with pain. >> the meaner the man be, the more you smile. although you're crying on the inside. >> but in 1966, those words had the insin i didair impact in mississippi. >> i don't want my children to go through what i did. >> that film was not seen at the time by a lot of political black people. a lot of them did not own televisions. >> the impact of what he said was felt in the white community. because so many whites knew him.
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so many whites felt they had friendship with him. and to hear him say no, this isn't friendship. this is humiliation for me. it was a wakeup call. >> allen wood is one of those whites who knew and liked booker wright. >> he was a great personality. good man. >> wood says he came to know booker when as a child a black employee at his father's car dealership took him to booker's place. >> booker would sell an iced tea glass for 25 cents i believe it was. and it was rotten. and i didn't drink any of it. >> he says his father sold booker cars and that booker frequently served his family and friends whenever they ate at the restaurant where booker was a waiter. >> we used to go to lusco's all the time. i really liked him. >> then came the evening in 1966
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when the man he knew for years suddenly appeared on his tv set saying he wasn't happy. >> night after i night i lay down and think about what i had to go through. >> that's the first time i realized that booker felt that way. after the show, a lot of people were pretty upset. he would have had to have known that it would -- it was not going to go over well. >> many whites in greenwood shunned booker after that. but on the black side of the tracks, booker's monologue became the stuff of legend. >> people who i thought would have been too young to know him knew him by reputation. it'd become almost like folklore in greenwood. >> always learn to smile. the meaner the man be, the more you smile. >> incredibly ray and yvette discovered the spot where booker had uttered those words still stood. battered, boarded up, and empty.
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>> it's like there was maybe some -- like a vinyl floor. >> for yvette johnson, this ruin was as close as she'd ever get to her grandfather. but if she expected to feel his spirit here among the cobwebs and peeling paint, she was disappointed. she recorded her impressions on a small tape recorder for a book she was writing. >> i think i feel sad. because if there were any place i'd feel him, it would be here. and i don't feel him here. i knew how special this place was to him. it's so abandoned. >> no detail of her grandfather's life here was too small. to yvette tracked down one person who'd known him best and was still living in greenwood. >> i sat down with booker's companion for the better part of his life. and learned more about him, the man, his daily life. >> and could she tell you any
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more about what he said on tv? >> no. >> yvette says honey told her that booker rarely talked about his time in front of frank de felitta's camera and never spoke about the retaliation he suffered. >> he didn't tell anybody about getting beat up, did he? >> my mother -- when i told the story to her, she recalled a time when he had some bruises, that he gave a strange explanation for. but i think he was just a private man. >> booker did not report the beating to police. perhaps because a police officer was rumored to have been behind it. and yvette learned that the repercussions from what booker said on tv did not stop with a beating. he was intimidated and humiliated even at his own restaurant. >> booker wright's half sister shared a story about a white police officer coming into booker's place one day when she was working there. walked back to the kitchen where
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they were cooking food and put his hand in a pot, pulled out some meat and stood in the kitchen and ate it while he's dripping juices on to the floor. then he turned and he left. didn't say anything to anyone. i just got the impression that he was known and hated by certain people on the police force. >> in 1973, booker wright's story took a tragic turn. late one saturday night a young black man named lloyd lou corp walked into booker's place. he took a seat next to two white men. an argument started and wright kicked cork out of the bar. and he came back and fatally shot booker. cork was arrested and given a life sentence. although the shooting of booker wright came seven years after his appearance on nbc had seemed
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to be the result of an argument gone bad, yvette and ray aren't sure there wasn't more to it. >> booker wright became a big figure in a small place. i think there were people still upset with what he had done. >> do you think booker was killed as a result of what he said in that program? >> i don't know. there's that question that i have whether or not someone hired this kid to do what he did. >> you will not find booker wright's name in any history book. he led no marchs, staged no sit ins. and yet speaking out like he did on national television, this waiter's change was now on the menu in mississippi. coming up -- >> some people say if booker came back, he'd be pissed. >> greenwood today. how much has changed? when "f
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frank de felitta left mississippi in 1965 with the words of liberal newspaper editor wring ringing in his ears. and this is how his documentary ended. >> i think it's good for us in the south to see what all you have just seen. i wish anyone who has seen this program could be alive 50 years from now and come back and see us again. you'll see some profound and largely hopeful changes. >> 47 years later, ray de felitta fulfilled that wish. and found that in greenwood at least, change is in the eye of the beholder. >> they're polarized. some people will say see how much progress we've made. some people say if booker came
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back, he'd be pissed. in a sense, both sides are right. >> the loss of jobs in manufacturing has forced out of the delta. in greenwood, black poverty and unemployments are high. and years of court orders integration didn't work. greenwood's public schools are now overwhelmingly black. private schools mostly white. still ray says he did find signs of hopeful change. >> what has changed that's most important, i think, is attitude. economically, things are still kind of a mess. the town doesn't look as good as it did 40 or 50 years ago either. not enough progress has been made, but the attitude is different. >> vera mccoy, the sleeping baby in the original film seems to embody changes few could have imagined in 1965. >> i have a lot of white friends a and i have a lot of black friends. we socialize together.
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my interaction with white people for the most part has been positive. >> vera is a grandmother herself now and just a few credits shy of getting her masters degree in social work. >> overall people aren't looking at the color of your skin anymore. >> what color are they looking at? >> green. because money makes the world go round. they're not going to be rude to you. they need your money to survive. >> that's a concept 1965's leaders would have appreciated. though they wouldn't have recognized greenwood today. >> the averaged colored child is not going to be with the white child in school. >> we showed the clip of that round table to today's leadership. >> it's appalling to think at one time we were in that situation. >> there's a bit of a shock factor for almost anyone who watches today. >> my heart actually thumped a bit harder watching that. >> the only part i could say is
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still resonant today is there is this some time condescending talk where whites know what blacks think and blacks know what whites think. and they're usually way off. >> today the mayor is a woman. the town's most powerful politician is black. and the business leadership is diverse. discussion nowadays is less likely to turn on race relations than on ways to lure tourists to town. >> i think we're owning our history. and we're living up to that to make it better. don't you think? >> i agree with that. we're working on tourism. we don't have time to be pointing out racism. >> tourists looking for an authentic mississippi experience now pay for the privilege of sleeping in this collection of shacks on the outskirts of town known as the tallahatche flats.
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>> we see a lot of europeans that love to come over here and experience the blues. they love to go to the flats to get that rustic feel. >> no one knows that better than sylvester hoover. >> come back and see us. >> in addition to running his own grocery, sylvester also operates tours of significant blues and civil rights spots in the area. >> a lot of people are making money off it. i'm probably the only black doing it. >> this is one of the stops on sylvester's tour. it is what remains of the grocery store where emmitt till whistled at a white woman. that night he was abducted from his bed, brutally murdered, and tossed into the river. the property is owned by one of the jurors that acquitted till's
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killers. he wants to have a memorial here but can't because the owner has a seven figure asking price. >> everybody trying to make money off the blues and civil rights. and a lot of those people gave us the blues but now they making money off the blues. it don't taste good to a lot of people, but they doing it. >> as for ray de felitta and yvette johnson, work on their film wrapped earlier this year. >> why he spoke that way in the film -- >> "booker's place: a mississippi story" premiered in april at the tribeca film festival. >> beautiful. >> for frank and ray de felitta, it was a crowning collaboration between father and son on a film that has become a family heirloom. >> i couldn't be more delighted to have my swell kid here follow me in a movie and he did it. this job is fabulous. >> for yvette johnson, her quest to understand her family's origins had ended with much
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more. yvette had learned that her grandfather was no accidental activist who in an unguarded moment blurted out something provocative. instead she learned booker wright was just an ordinary man who in a moment of truth exhibited extraordinary courage. >> i think sometimes in life there are sort of these magical moments and you don't know when one is coming but you sort of know when you're in it. and it's the time to stand up for what you believe in and to express what matters to you. and if you don't seize the opportunity, i think you just -- you feel like you've compromised yourself. to me that's the biggest take away. >> night after night i lay down and i dream about what i had to go through. i don't want my children to have to go through this. >> i think if we just keep our eyes open and if we're willing to take a chance, to take a risk, then we can all make a difference. that's all for now. i'm lester